MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Dozens of families and community members in the Little Apple gathered Thursday at Manhattan’s Old Chicago for a free Thanksgiving meal.
In an effort to make sure that everyone in the Manhattan community got to experience the holiday, Old Chicago partnered up once again with the Flint Hills Breadbasket to host a massive Thanksgiving dinner.
"This is the second year that we’ve done it," said General Manager Mike Rice. "I think the thing that’s really cool is all the people that are here right now, you know, being able to see, you know, giving back to the community, and that’s part of why we wanted to do it. We wanted to be involved and do something for the community the best we possibly could so this made sense, you know. It was an opportunity for us to do it."
For many who attended the community dinner, it was an opportunity to enjoy the holiday with others since they don't have any family members in the area and would have otherwise spent Thanksgiving alone.
"Well I think what’s so nice about this community dinner is that is exactly what it is," said Breadbasket Director Maribeth Kieffer. "So when people come together in here you don’t know if it’s someone in need or if it’s a local community and I just think that it makes a community feeling, and that’s what it’s all about."
Some sixty volunteers, including many Old Chicago employees and their family members were on hand to help prepare and serve 24 turkeys, 400 pounds of mashed potatoes, 90 pies and much more.
"We have, as far as volunteers go, I have about 12 volunteers that helped out this year that are here for me in the restaurant, but I also had family and friends come in and Maribeth with the breadbasket had about 30 volunteers come in this year," Rice said. So it takes a lot of people to get it going.
Old Chicago and the Flint Hills Breadbasket expected to serve around 600 people this year.